Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party has again won Hungarian parliamentary elections on Sunday. The distance to a broad opposition alliance was greater than expected. Reaction to Orban’s fourth term has been mixed. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa congratulated. In Austria, the election victory was met with little joy, congratulations came only from the FPÖ.
“I am disappointed, but not surprised,” said SPÖ member Bettina Vollath. “The elections were not fair, laws geared to Fidesz’s election victory, criticism of the government was virtually non-existent in the media. Hungary has become a facade democracy in 2022,” explains Vollath. NEOS-EU mandatarin Claudia Gamon had hoped for a change of course. The two EU politicians criticized “too lax action by the European Commission against Budapest”.
War as a campaign worker?
Criticism also came from Green National Councilor Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, who was part of an election observation mission in Budapest: “Terrible, but true: the war in Ukraine was Orban’s best election aid”.
Congratulations from Kickl
On the other hand, there were congratulations from FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl: “This clear victory is also a clear sign far beyond Hungary’s borders that consistent work for the interests of its own people is rewarded and does not serve the EU nomenklatura. in Brussels.” In a broadcast of his party, FPÖ MP Christian Hafenecker spoke of a “victory for the patriotic, conservative and Christian family of parties”. Representatives of the FPÖ, most notably the head of the liberal delegation to the EU parliament Harald Vilimsky and the Viennese FPÖ club president Maximilian Krauss, were themselves in Hungary on Sunday as election observers. They were invited by the Christian Democratic Institute affiliated with Fidesz.
No response from ÖVP
There was initially no response from the former Fidesz sister party ÖVP. After years of struggling to find the right way to deal with the controversial Hungarian party, Europe’s largest party family left the European People’s Party (EPP) last year. The reason for this was an amendment to the statutes that made it possible to exclude the Fidesz delegation from the European Parliament.
In addition to the FPÖ, Putin and Jansa congratulated Orban on his election victory. The Russian head of state expressed confidence “that the future development of bilateral and partnership relations, despite the difficult international situation, will respond to the interests of the peoples of Russia and Hungary,” the Kremlin said on Monday. Orban is one of the few politicians in the EU and within NATO who has maintained close, friendly relations with Putin. In Hungary, he has already criticized the Ukrainian leadership.
Slovenian Prime Minister Jansa wrote on Twitter that it is good to have friends as neighbours. He is considered a close political ally.
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